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Nike pull controversial US flag shoe design after complaint by Colin Kaepernick - report

The Wall Street Journal say the former NFL star considered the Betsy Ross flag an ‘offensive symbol because of its connection to an era of slavery’.

NIKE HAVE PULLED an American-flag-themed shoe design after the former NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who endorses Nike, said he and others found the specific flag design offensive, associating it with the time of slavery in America, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal.

The company had meant for the Air Max 1 USA to go on sale this week in tandem with the Fourth of July.

The heel of the shoe featured a version of the US flag with 13 white stars, which was created circa the 1770s during the American Revolution and is commonly referred to as the Betsy Ross flag.

The flag is used by the American Nazi Party.

Citing unnamed sources, The Journal said Kaepernick contacted the company after images of the shoe started appearing online and said that people, himself included, considered the Betsy Ross flag an “offensive symbol because of its connection to an era of slavery.”

sneakers Source: Business Insider

As The Journal noted, the flag also sparked controversyback in 2016 after students waved it at a high-school football game in Michigan.

Some parents and students left the game “unsettled,” as the flag was seen by some as a symbol of white supremacy and white nationalism, according to the local news outlet Mlive.com.

Nike asked for retailers to return the shoes after shipping them out without explaining why, The Journal reported, and the shoes aren’t available on Nike’s website.

Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured an old version of the American flag,” a Nike representative wrote in an email to Insider.

Kaepernick declined to comment on the matter, The Journal reported.

The internet was quick to react to the news, with some calling the move to pull the sneaker “unpatriotic” and pledging to boycott Nike.

Nike partnered with Kaepernick last year for a campaign with the tagline “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Kaepernick started to become a polarizing figure in 2016, first by sitting on the bench instead of standing during the national anthem before NFL games to protest police killings of unarmed black men.

After consulting with veterans about his decision, he went on to kneel during the national anthem.

He has not played in the NFL since the 2016 season and ultimately settled with the NFL over accusations that the league colluded to keep him unsigned over his protests.

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Published with permission from:

Business Insider
Business Insider is a business site with strong financial, media and tech focus.

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